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JK: Refrain from poll duties, government staff told

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | November 10, 2008 21:28 IST

Reiterating the separatist poll boycott call, moderate All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq Monday asked the state government employees to stay away from the poll duties.

"The employees should completely stay away from the poll process, and thereby make this meaningless exercise futile," the Mirwaiz said after chairing the coordination committee meeting at the APHC uptown Rajbagh headquarters this afternoon.

The coordination committee comprises representatives of both groups of APHC, traders and members of Kashmir bar association.

Fearing a poll duty boycott, the state government had recently substantially enhanced the poll duty perks for its employees to lure them to poll duties in Kashmir.

The sops ranged from an ex-gratia payment of Rs 10 lakhs and employment to a dependent in case of death to Rs 5000 per day of the poll duty.

The Mirwaiz called for marches to the respective district headquarters on the poll dates there, and also a valley wide shut down, peaceful protests and a black out on poll days.

"People from all corners of the valley should march to the headquarters of the respective districts on dates the elections are scheduled there," he told the media conference.

The seven phased assembly polls begin on November 17 with constituencies of Bandipore, Leh, Kargil [Images] and Poonch districts going to polls in the first phase.

Asking the mainstream politicians to pull out of the elections, the Mirwaiz warned them of "social boycott by the people of Kashmir".

"If they don't pull out from the poll process, they should be prepared to face a social boycott by the people of the valley."

The Mirwaiz also appealed the migrant Pundits not to participate in the elections through "use of postal ballots as such an exercise would further widen the divide between the two communities."

He alleged that the authorities were using electronic jamming equipment outside their homes.

"Even mobile phones don't work at my residence.''

He said, "In case the authorities decided to arrest me, the youth would takeover the leadership of the coordination committee."

The Mirwaiz also announced that on December 24 there would be a march to the city centre, Lal Chowk.

"People would assemble in the Lal Chowk till forenoon, and then they would march to various constituencies in Srinagar [Images] district that are scheduled to go to polls that day." 






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